2018 NFL Supplemental Draft Grades: Giants, Redskins both pick up secondary help
Sam Beal and Adonis Alexander found new teams in the NFL Supplemental Draft held Wednesday
This year's NFL Supplemental Draft was the most active since 2010, with two defensive backs joining pro teams just weeks before the start of training camp. The Giants and Redskins needed cornerback reinforcement to bolster their depth in the secondary, and both found answers on Wednesday.
Here's how Western Michigan cornerback Sam Beal and Virginia Tech cornerback Adonis Alexander fit with their NFC East clubs.
Giants select Sam Beal in Round 3
Beal is a logical addition for the Giants after new GM Dave Gettleman did not address the secondary in the regular NFL Draft, instead focusing on adding hog mollies to his offensive and defensive lines after the high-profile selection of Saquon Barkley at No. 2 overall.
Janoris Jenkins was a pricey free-agent acquisition in 2016 but has been a steady top corner for the G-Men, and, aside from the locker room drama, former first-round pick Eli Apple took a step forward on the field in 2017 after a forgettable rookie campaign, yet he still has a ways to go before living up to being the No. 10 overall selection in 2016 draft. The depth behind those two was minimal at best before the Beal selection, with 33 year-old William Gay easily the most proven cornerback of the Giants' backup options.
Beal's size, man-to-man ability and ball-skill flashes downfield, and playing zone should make him a versatile member of New York's defensive backfield as a rookie. He's tall and long enough to play on the outside and has enough quickness to slip into the nickel cornerback spot if needed.
A third-round pick was the ceiling I envisioned for Beal, and it's a solid investment for a Giants secondary in need of a reliable third corner, even if he doesn't come fully into his own until 2019. The Giants will forfeit a third-round pick in the 2019 draft as a result of this pick.
Redskins select Adonis Alexander in Round 6
Adding Alexander to a secondary still headlined by Josh Norman makes plenty of sense by way of a potential mentorship from the star veteran of a player with a similar build and skill set. Alexander is supremely tall and long but was a frustratingly inconsistent corner at Virginia Tech, with moments of first-round play but undrafted free-agent caliber hiccups on double moves and on downfield routes.
With Norman and Orlando Scandrick as Washington's top two corners, this pick is sensible for the future of the club's secondary, as Alexander will join 2017 third-round Fabian Moreau and 2018 seventh-rounder and former Hokie teammate Greg Stroman -- a big draft steal ---as the promising youngsters at corner after the trade of budding star Kendall Fuller.
Using a 2019 sixth-round pick on Alexander seems right, as there's a decent chance he'll experience a "redshirt" type season in 2018 behind Norman while learning the nuances of utilizing his size and length to his advantage on the outside during practice. The Redskins should be leery about Alexander getting considerable action as a rookie, but he should be able to hold his own against some of the NFL's weaker passing attacks if forced into the field due to injury.
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